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Silver Bells

This Halloween is different.  Partly due to having a new addition to our family.  Partly due to Braeden’s choice on what to dress up as.  Partly due to the sense of accomplishment I felt making his costume.  Mostly due to Braeden.  Standing by my side in his Santa costume, eagerly wating for someone to answer the door.

“Trick or Treat”  He takes a piece of candy.  “Thank you”  The door begins to close.

I hear his sweet voice, “wait, wait”.  I watch his tiny hand grasp a silver bell, strung with red ribbon, out of his pocket.  Jingle, jingle.  Reaching out, he hands her the bell.  “Oh, is this for me?”  “Thank you!”  He has a smile from ear to ear.

This Halloween is different.  Mostly due to Braeden.  His choice to dress up as Santa and give a bell to everyone is more that just adorable to me.  It’s a testament to who Braeden is.  He loves the spirit of Christmas and admires Santa.  He loves to make connections with others.  He loves to give.  He loves life.  For Braeden, this exchange is more fulfilling than any candy bar; which vanishes in minutes.  This simple act of kindness has brought him pure joy.

As I look down at him by my side, I’m reminded how much I love him.  How much I love the person he is becoming.  We start to turn around, ready to walk to the next house.

I look up, beaming with pride.

I am blessed to share my life with you.

My Braeden.



Tonight before you lay down to sleep-we brushed our teeth, we sat at your desk and drew: 7 vacuums, 1 Arthur (from the TV show) and 1 Mommy, we read “The Bernstein Bears Visit the Dentist” and talked about your visit to the dentist, we sat on the couch and I tickled your back, we made one last trip to the bathroom, we walked quietly into your room so not to wake your little brother, “goodnight” you whispered into the crib, you took off your slippers and jumped under the covers, you gave me a hug and kiss, and I tucked you in.

“Goodnight sweetheart, sleep good and I’ll see you in the morning.”

“Goodnight Mommy, sleep good and I’ll see you in the morning.”

“Mommy, can I get another kiss and hug?”

Standing at the door, I blew you a kiss and hug.  You sat up, caught my kiss and hug bringing them to your heart.

Tonight before I lay down to sleep-I catch my breath.  I am so in love.


A couple weeks ago my youngest son had his two month old check up.  With any check up, there was the usual height and weight measurement.  The milestones checklist.  Ears and mouth…

“Did Braeden teethe early?”  the doctor asked.

I had to stop and remember, “Yes.  He was about 4 months old.”

“Well, it looks as though Asher will be teething early too.”


“Come look, his gums are swollen and you can see here the white.  Nothing has cut yet, but I can see he’ll teethe early like Braeden.”

“That explains all the drool.”

Last night, Asher had a terrible night sleeping, which equaled a quadruple terrible night for me.

“I’m. going. to. die.” my mind was screaming.

Well, I somehow survived today.

And today in Asher’s calendar (not even three months old yet), I had to write in, lower central incisors breaking through.

And today Asher received some Tylenol before going to bed.

And today I pray for us to get some sleep…

I Love Us

My brother, sister-in-law and niece drove down from Michigan for a short visit this weekend.  We usually get together once every few months, so we make the most of our time.

The weather Saturday was brisk, but it was a nice day.  We decided to go for a walk.  There is a trail and brewery not far from our house.  We hop into our cars.  Park.  Throw on our jackets and begin walking.

{The last time I was on this trail, my husband, son and mom found “treasures”.  Along the trail there is quite a bit of brush.  Within the brush we discovered debris.  Debris from buildings and even an old street light.  To most, garbage.}

“Hey, check this out!” followed by a “Ohh, cool!”.  I’m standing by the stroller, while my husband, son, brother, sister-in-law and niece are huddled around something in the brush.  As I’m standing there, people are walking by, looking up at them.  One woman said, “Hey, what are you guys looking for?”  “Bodies,” my husband replied.  Standing there, I chuckle.  “We’re looking for some treasures.”  She continues on walking.  We continue on looking.  We spent over an hour on our walk/adventure/treasure hunt.

My family is kinda unique.
I love us.


I look down at my computer.  6:41a.  All three of my boys are still asleep.  My husband, three year old, and two month old.  I can write.

It’s usually difficult for me to write everyday in March.  I still sign up for the challenge.  I still write when I can.  But I seem to always miss days.  This year, it’s really a challenge.

It is nearly impossible to write during the day.  When my two month old is taking a nap, I’m playing LEGOs, or cleaning mounds of dishes.  Usually something takes my time.  Nighttime is playing out to be my time to write.  That doesn’t go too well either.  The screen makes my sleep deprived eyes feel heavier.

So here I write, while I can.  I look and see that I have 8 drafts.  Maybe I can get to one of those today and publish.


Bumps and Edges

Today, Braeden worked on a puzzle.  A simple one, only 24 pieces.

As soon as we were done working on wood puzzles and started working on jigsaw puzzles, I introduced the terms: bumps and edges.  Together we would work on puzzles (not it one sitting, or in one day) and I would say, “Ok, we need to sort the bumps and edges.”  I explained why the bumps were called bumps, running his finger across them.  I explained why edges were edges and how they felt different than bumps.  Once our bumps and edges were sorted, I then explained the corners, “two edges that come together”.  We would then build the frame.  And fill it in.

As time went on, and puzzles became more complicated, I introduced the idea of looking for clues in each piece.  Once a clue was found, then we would try placing the piece in it’s spot.  If it didn’t work, we would try the same piece different ways before determining that it wasn’t the correct piece.

Most recently we’ve worked on 100 piece puzzles.  Once the frame was built, I introduced the idea that we should find pieces that have something in common, and put together that section of the puzzle.  We would do this over and over until the puzzle was complete.

We have started learning how to do jigsaw puzzles a little over a year ago.  Each time we would begin I felt that he seemed to forget everything we did prior.  We practiced so many times, why isn’t he using what I taught him?  I would try my best to keep my mouth shut when he was attempting to put pieces in all the wrong places, but I was overcome and always spoke.

This morning, he chose the Sesame Street puzzle.

We have done this one before, but there was something different about today.  I again found myself trying to keep my mouth shut.  Not understanding why he was trying pieces that clearly didn’t work.  We practiced so many strategies.

That’s when it hit me.


Today, Braeden finished a puzzle.  And I watched.


This house is a mess.  I mean, maybe some would find this house to be “not that bad”.  But to me, it’s a mess.  As I write…wait, let me take another sip of wine.  Ahh, ok.  That helps.

You see, I’m sitting here writing while my house is a mess.

I have a kitchen sink full of dirty dishes.  And they’re not rinsed.  Nope, no time for that.  Instead I was probably spending time changing my 2 month old’s diapers.  You may think that doesn’t take a long time.  What you don’t realize is that he is so chatty, smiles a ton and squeals like a porpoise while I change his diaper.  It’s a time to look at each other, eye to eye and smile.  A time that makes me happy, even when he pees on me!

Wet clothes are in the dryer that I for some reason am attempting to clean, even-though they will be so wrinkled by the time I get to folding them tomorrow morning, or maybe tomorrow afternoon, actually who am I kidding; it will be tomorrow night!  Instead I was probably playing Legos with my 3 year old son.  We were fixing my castle.  He fixed is car.  And then we were searching a gazillion Legos for that one piece to finish his truck.  You know how that goes!

A small bowl of my son’s snack is still sitting in our sun room.  Been there since about 11am.  Stale and soggy.  Seems like a quick, pick it up and throw it out.  Not that simple.  Oh, I actually see part of a yellow pepper sitting on the coffee table in front of me right now.  Awesome!  Instead I was still trying to find that damn Lego piece!

I should probably stop before I embarrass myself.

This house is a mess.  And there are a lot of insteads.

That’s why I have an old trivet I purchased a while back at an antique store that reads, “Our house is clean enough to be healthy and dirty enough to be happy.”